Father’s Day gifts for dads of all kinds

“It is a wise man that knows his own father.” – 16th Century proverb

Father’s Day is on the horizon and it’s time for offspring to let them know how well they understand their fathers.

To help them out, we have compiled a selection of books for different kinds of fathers, from the foul-mouthed to the funny, the art lovers to word lovers.

Whether your dad prefers to debate the history of beer or evolutionary history, show how well you know your dad this Father’s Day.

 Beer lovers

Beeronomics – How Beer Explains the World by Johan Swinnen & Devin Briski

From prompting a transition from hunter-gatherer to an agrarian lifestyle in ancient Mesopotamia to bankrolling Britain’s imperialist conquests, strategic taxation and the regulation of beer has played a pivotal role throughout history. Beeronomics: How Beer Explains the World tells these stories, and many others, whilst also exploring the key innovations that propelled the industrialisation and consolidation of the beer market.

Language lovers

The Australian National Dictionary – Australian Words and Their Origins edited by Bruce Moore, Amanda Laugesen, Mark Gwynn & Julia Robinson

The Australian National Dictionary (AND) is a dictionary of Australianisms. It includes words and meanings that have originated in Australia, that have a greater currency here than elsewhere, or that have a special significance in Australian history.  This is the only comprehensive, historically based record of the words and meanings that make up Australian English. It is a unique lexical map of Australian history and culture.

The Little Oxford Gift Box (including Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations; Little Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs) edited by Susan Ratcliffe & Elizabeth Knowles

From Shakespeare and Mark Twain to Albert Einstein and Kate Moss, the Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations features 4,000 of the best and most popular quotations of past and present. Its perfect complement is the Little Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, which includes fascinating information on 2,000 proverbs and sayings from around the world and across 250 subjects—from ‘Books’ and ‘Borrowing’ to ‘Dreams’ and ‘Cats’. Together, these two charming little books will have the perfect words for whatever you want to say.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Now available in the Oxford World’s Classics hardback range, Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. In this definitive and highly acclaimed Maude translation, Tolstoy’s genius and the power of his prose are made newly available to the contemporary reader. In addition this edition includes a new introduction by Amy Mandelker, revised and expanded notes, lists of fictional and historical characters, a chronology of historical events, five maps, and Tolstoy’s essay ‘Some Words about War and Peace‘.

Art appreciators

After Modern Art – 1945 – 2017 by David Hopkins

This pioneering book explores the controversial period between 1945 and 2015, when art and its traditional forms were called into question. Major artists such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, and Shiran Neshat are all discussed, as is the art world of the last fifty years. This revised and updated second edition includes a new chapter exploring art since 2000 and how globalisation has caused shifts in the art world, an updated Bibliography, and 16 new, colour illustrations.

Fruity language lovers

Holy Sh*t – A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr

Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity–and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.

(Dad) Jokers

Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations edited by Gyles Brandreth

With over 1,000 new quotations from all media, it’s easy to find hilarious quotes on subjects ranging from Argument to Diets, from Computers to The Weather. Add sparkle to your speeches and presentations, or just enjoy a good laugh in company with Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Joan Rivers, Stephen Fry, and friends.


The Selfish Gene – 40th Anniversary Edition by Richard Dawkins

As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene’s eye view of evolution – a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews.

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